State House takes Entebbe Hospital and Ugandans again see ‘’underhandedness”

Entebbe Hospital. Photo by M. Ssebuyira(SUNDAY MONITOR)

The taking over of Entebbe hospital by State House for security reasons has raised concern among Ugandans abroad. One Edward Pojim, a resident in USA, wrote on UAH forum:’’ The proximity of this hospital to State House is too close for comfort. It must give security people sleepless nights. Operationally, it should not have continued as a general public facility, and therefore, I see no hidden agenda in converting it to a restricted facility for state house employees. As the official residence and office Ugandan presidents, State House must enjoy considerable restricted land and air space. I think most reasonable Ugandans automatically see: ‘’underhandedness” in everything the Museveni regime does, especially with regards to real estate and other national assets. This is because its record on managing these assets is pathetic. However, they get my support in limiting public access to this hospital.’’

However, Peter Okurut, also in USA, disagreed with him:’’ Since colonial time and till just last week, this hospital has been close to state house. Is it only now that the government has realized how close the hospital is to the state house?

Seriously, how many national assets are going to be sacrificed for a few individuals? Soon the international airport will be secured for a few, and as the president commutes to Kampala, the Entebbe -Kampala road will be secured for the president’s security and so forth. So will the Kampala-Masaka- Mbarara -Kihurura roads because it will be insecure for the president to use it when going home, so the public should be re-routed I don’t know where.

The real security lies within the people, not securing land etc; the president should invest in the people by providing services and relinquishing power at the earliest opportunity available. No amount of private roads, hospitals, bunks, mazes of tunnels or MI-Gs can stop people’s power when they finally say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” see what happened to the King of Kings of Africa, comrade Col. Gaddafi? Is there any African leader who had better security detail than him, where is he now?’’

According to the Daily Monitor, ‘’ The hospital, which serves an estimated 6,000 people, was built by British colonialists in 1904 and borders State House Entebbe gate.
The government plans to turn the hospital into a health facility for State House staff and security personnel. The first attempt to take over the land came up in June when a medical officer Special Forces only identified as Major Mwesigye, approached local leaders in Entebbe, medical officers and hospital administrators proposing that State House takes over Entebbe ‘Grade A’ Hospital apparently used as a private wing.’’

It is not yet clear if another hospital is going to be built in Entebbe to provide the health services to the residents.

Dr. Kipenji Owor from Australia, is also not satisfied with the reasons given for the takeover: ‘Entebbe Hospital has for long been one of the white elephants serving as an eye sore to the residents of Entebbe.The last time it really functioned as a public hospital could have been around 1987. It also happened to be a hospital where my Engineer friend told me was equipped to handle emergency services during the infamous CHOGM meet. Unfortunately whatever was installed or left un installed is still in the same repose as it was left. Apparently most Entebbe residents either go to private clinics or to hospitals in and around Kampala. The staffing in this hospital is very un motivated let alone being sparse. With such a scenario, may be incorporating it within the State house perimeter, it might come to be adequately used. So,I am not personally in support of it being taken up by state house for the reasons Mr Pojim cites, but rather for the redundant status it finds itself in. If it becomes a state house facility, personnel may be attracted to work there in much the same way they did with the former Kiseka Foundation Hospital in the backyard of the once upon a time famous Bat valley which like Bat valley appears to have become extinct.’’

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